Country rockers Jed’s Dead perform at the Cinema Bar on Sunday, the latest in a long series of shows at that venue for the accomplished alt-roots outfit. Frontman Edward Romero spoke to the News to talk about what Culver City can expect…
When did you start playing and performing?
The original line-up for Jed’s Dead was formed back in November of 2003. So, I guess we’re coming up on our 20-year anniversary as a band. That’s crazy to think about. Of course, we’ve had some line-up changes along the way. We started out playing coffee shops as a two-piece with myself on guitar/vocals and Matthew Thies on piano/vocals. We soon added the husband-and-wife duo of Mo Sosnow on drums and David Wharton on bass. Johnny Hawthorn joined the band on lead guitar for a short stint. Matthew left the band in 2013, due to health reasons and Charles Saltzman took over piano duties. When Charles moved back east, the band switched to a traditional four-piece, dropping piano, and adding Chris Westfall on electric guitar. When Chris moved to the Midwest, we were fortunate to recruit Tom Gramlich on lead guitar.
Describe your sound/style?
Jed’s Dead creates a dark blend of country rock and alternative roots music. The band has gradually expanded its sound outside the confines of alt-country, while still honoring the Americana tradition. Jed’s Dead crafts songs that range from twangy, blues rockers to brooding, acoustic ballads with a touch of gallows humor.
What are your career highlights so far?
We’ve been featured on several indie film soundtracks. That’s always fun for us, as we are all big fans of movies. Jed’s Dead songs have appeared in the feature films Sibling Rivalry, The Phobic, Ashes and Ribbons. We appear as themselves, at the Cinema Bar, in the feature film Butterfly (written and directed by Romero).
What recorded music is available — particularly the most recent?
Jed’s Dead has two studio albums. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon Music, and most streaming services. For the luddites out there, we have CDs too. You’ve Already Won, Babydoll was released in 2009 and Blacktop Honeymoon came out in 2018. It takes us awhile to put out new material. We tend to workshop our songs, at live shows, for years before they turn up on an album.
Have you performed at the Cinema Bar before?
Jed’s Dead has performed at Cinema Bar many times throughout the years. It’s truly our favorite place to play. The crowd is very kind to us. They come to drink beer and listen to live music, and that’s a beautiful thing. We even have a CD in the jukebox, which is truly an honor, considering the company.
What can the audience expect from the set this time?
We love these Sunday sets. They give us a chance to try out new material as well as dig into our back catalog. We tend to lean back, playing mid-tempo songs, but with enough back-beat to elicit some impromptu dancing.
What else do you have coming up?
We will be going into the studio to record our third album, currently titled American Ruins, later this year. Other than that, summer is fast approaching and we love to play outdoors.
Elsewhere this week
The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys, and Scotty Bramer. Go to culverhotel.com for more info.
The next show at Boulevard Music is Latin world fusion group Incendio at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 3. Visit boulevardmusic.com for more info.